Aurora presents screenings, installations, and multidisciplinary performances year-round, often with artists in attendance to discuss their work. See upcoming and past programs at our events calendar. Aurora’s annual, open-call Extremely Shorts Film Festival showcases a wide range of adventurous short films from around the globe, selected by a different guest juror each year. Each spring, Aurora and the Menil Collection co-present Houston’s annual outdoor community-sourced projection event, BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer). Our popular Summer Youth Filmmaking Camps for ages 7-15 take place at Aurora between June and August, and culminate with a special premiere screening at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. We regularly partner with schools, community centers, and hospitals to present city-wide youth filmmaking programs. Aurora is a partner in administering The Idea Fund, an annual regranting program supporting unconventional and participatory Houston-area artist projects. We are fiscal sponsors of select community festivals, including all-Latina film festival, Señorita Cinema.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF AURORA
Aurora Picture Show was founded in 1998 by Houston-based artist and organizer Andrea Grover. With the help of volunteers and equipment donations, Grover converted a 1924 wooden church building in Houston’s Sunset Heights into a cinema, and began presenting experimental films and videos. The first Aurora screening was held in June 1998–the inaugural Extremely Shorts Film Festival. The following year, Aurora Picture Show received its non-profit status. The annual Aurora Award honoring pioneering media artist began in 2001 with guest Tony Oursler in attendance. Beginning in 2004, the annual, multi-venue Media Archeology Festival opened the doors to collaborative presentations with various Houston museums, universities, and independent businesses. In 2007, Aurora launched its non-circulating video library making hundreds of DVDs available for free to artists, educators, students, as well as its own DVD label producing collections of experimental films and videos. In 2009, as Grover stepped back from the role of full-time staff member and the original church location was retired, Aurora moved its offices to a house on the campus of the Menil Collection and expanded its programming efforts to venues and alternative spaces across the city. In June of 2012, the organization moved to a small warehouse–a former artist studio–located in the Kirby/Rice area of Houston. While this space housed its exhibitions, events, youth education programs, video library, and administrative offices under one roof, Aurora remained committed to collaborative city-wide presentations, as well.